Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Olney's Lament

UPDATE: Bob Ryan writes an article today, echoing the sentiments I've been writing here throughout the posting and "negotiating." Give it a read. I think he's 100% dead on correct.

I'm sorry, but this is the biggest horse manure I've ever heard in my life. (As quoted by Boston Dirt Dogs).

"And you'd have to wonder: For Scott Boras, when does this stop becoming a chase of dollars and start being about his clients' doing what they love in their work and playing baseball?...

"Boras is extraordinary at what he does, at extracting a volume of dollars from places that you never would've imagined. He is like a chess master, and every negotiation is a match to be won. But in this era, when players are now making more money than they can ever spend in their lifetimes, it's debatable whether the extra cash actually improves the quality of life of his players, and whether all this angst pays off, in the big picture." -- 12.12.06, Buster Olney, ESPN

First of all, for Scott Boras, his job is to get as much money as is humanly possible for his clients. That's the whole reason they hire him, rather than asking Joe Average agent to represent them. To cry about it now shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation. Everyone, including Theo Epstein, knew that they would pay top market dollar for Matsuzaka WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE BIDDING. The Red Sox can be pissed off that Boras and Matsuzaka are being greedy, but they shouldn't cry because they are shocked or surprised. I have sympathy for the former, but none for the latter.

Regarding the second part of Olney's comment, cry me a river. If CNNSI was waiting to pay him double for his services, but he had to sit out a year to cash in, are you sincerely going to sit there and tell me that the money is good enough at ESPN? Bullshit. Yes, he will be a super rich man, whatever contract he signs, but it's not about how much you can spend in your lifetime. It's about how much you are worth in the market, and how much that will buy your children and grandchildren. I never see the point in those holier-than-thou types who say wealthy athletes should settle for less because they can't spend all the fortune they make in one lifetime. If I had a chance to set up my children, grandchildren, and every subsequent generation beyond, I would.

They may come to terms on a deal, but make no mistake, these are not children playing for the love of the game. That's only part of the equation. Any experienced journalist should remember the cliche, "If everyone else were playing for free, I would too. But they're not." That is one of the fundamental, 10 Commandments, of modern sports. We all play by those rules, and you either pay, or walk away empty handed. It may be ugly, and we have the right to complain about it, but let's not be naive. That's all I ask.


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